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Help! - Can't stop vibration

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I need some advice. I've had a vibration that starts at about 40-45 miles an hour from the rear of the car. I feel it through the seat, not the steering wheel. At about 55, there is a small shake in the wheel. Also, the problem is always most noticeable when cold, and then it improves as the vehicle/tires? warm up.

I replaced the tires to BFG Traction TA's and the problem was still there. After several balances and a trip to the dealer, everyone still pointed at the tires as being the problem. So, I was able to get the tire shop to switch the BFG's for the OEM Michelin. I picked up the car today and the problem is still there!

My BMW dealer doesn't seem to know what else to do. They said my suspension checked out fine. Could they be missing something? This is getting frustrating! :mad:
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Okay lets start from the begining. What wheels and tire size do you have. What Michelin tire do you have. Were the rims checked out for run out...ie bent rims. Have you got a chance to strobe balance the car.... meaning on the car balanced? Have you changed the brake rotors on the car if you did what did you use.
Also, were any of the balance machines "Hunter Road Force" balancers?

That machine takes care of a lot of problem balancing issues and can identify bent rims, out of round tires, and can match the high spot of the tire to the low spot of the rim to get rid of vibration (plus it aplies a force to the tire wheel combo like it was driving on a surface).
where can you find "on the car balance" or "strobe balance" ??? I have been asking around for more than a year and no shop had ever heard of it :eek:
do you have any more pointers into that?
RakNaks said:
Okay lets start from the begining. What wheels and tire size do you have. What Michelin tire do you have. Were the rims checked out for run out...ie bent rims. Have you got a chance to strobe balance the car.... meaning on the car balanced? Have you changed the brake rotors on the car if you did what did you use.
similar problem

84alfaman said:
I need some advice. I've had a vibration that starts at about 40-45 miles an hour from the rear of the car. I feel it through the seat, not the steering wheel. At about 55, there is a small shake in the wheel. Also, the problem is always most noticeable when cold, and then it improves as the vehicle/tires? warm up.

I replaced the tires to BFG Traction TA's and the problem was still there. After several balances and a trip to the dealer, everyone still pointed at the tires as being the problem. So, I was able to get the tire shop to switch the BFG's for the OEM Michelin. I picked up the car today and the problem is still there!

My BMW dealer doesn't seem to know what else to do. They said my suspension checked out fine. Could they be missing something? This is getting frustrating! :mad:
I have had a similar problem, but mine is mostly with the steering wheel shaking at about 54 MPH, mostly when called. Two independent type BMW shops have checked out suspension, etc., both aligned the wheels and said "should be good to go", but the problem still occurs. Started about two weeks after getting new tires (Yokohomas). Have talked to both shops. They seem to minimize the problem. One said could be a brake caliper sticking, but seemed not too concerned. BTW, mine is a 740iL.
I live in the Atlanta, GA area and we have two shops that balance on the car. I am very suprised that in NYC you can not locate one! Well, I think I have solved my balance problem with my e39. It has alot to do with the tires. I am getting this info from the Tire Gurus of Grand Turismo East here in Atlanta. And my personal experience with 104,000 miles. There are two tires that will balance on the e39 that is the Michilen Pilot XGT-v or z4s or the Dunlop 2000E that is made in Germany. I have tried several brands Yokos, Toyos, and even Bridgestones. My tire store was doing everything from Hunter GSP 9700 road force variation to chanting. Now before anybody jumps the gun....this was MY experience with the SO-3 Pole Positions. I spared no expense and ordered the SO-3s. We mounted them and found three out of four were out of round! I could not believe it. I bought these because Michilen decied to drop the Pilot XGT line during this time. After the SO-3 debacle I ended up with the XGT-V4s that were in stock. They were great. Another tire that I am working with is the Kumo 712s. So far they balance nicely. However you musty rotate frequently as they due tend to feather a bit. And yes I changed my shocks and struts to Bilistien awhile back. If I can be of help please keep on posting. Oh also look online at www.hunter.com. Look at the top of the line balancer and locate one near you. All you have to do is type in a zip code.
Thanks
I run S-03's on my car and have flatspotting after the car sits for a while, overnight or days. This transmits vibrations into the car as I drive until the tires come up to operating temperature. When I first got them I had the wheels rebalanced twice cuz I thought they were not done properly. It's possible this is what you were experiencing, just a suggestion.

Other than the flatspotting, I think the S-03's are excellent. I've had 3 maybe 4 sets in 3 years, all have done this.
Jeff, you are right even the Dunlop 9000 do the typical flat spot till warm up and the Kumho too. We mounted the tires (SO-3) on the wheels, then put them on the car while on the lift and then rotated them. These tires were not even on the ground. My tire guy knows me so well, that he refused to finished balance them or even better yet warranty them for balance. Now the XGT and Dunlop 2000E, I dont have to worry about the typical warm up period. Kinda nice, but overall these two tires seem to work for me in my opinon. I never have to go back to be balanced the 2nd or 3rd time. The Dunlops do however need to be rotated often. Another important tip is that as the XGTs wear out they slip in the rain, 3/32 on the tread be done with them.
I have the stock 15" cross lace BBS wheels. The Michelin tires that my tire dealer recommended are the MXV4 Plus, which was the OEM tire. It is a 225/60 R15. I have had the rims checked for run-out, both radial and lateral. I've had them road force balanced several times, but have not had them balanced on the car. The brake rotors have not been renewed recently.

I'm starting to think it can't be the tires. What about the drive shaft center bearing or the rubber "doughnut" that absorbs driveshaft vibration? Could it be that it hardens with age and is no longer very effective? Ever heard of this?

Thanks for your help.
RakNaks said:
Okay lets start from the begining. What wheels and tire size do you have. What Michelin tire do you have. Were the rims checked out for run out...ie bent rims. Have you got a chance to strobe balance the car.... meaning on the car balanced? Have you changed the brake rotors on the car if you did what did you use.
Humm I never had any issues yet with my driveshaft. But it could be an issue. Now where are the guys putting on the weights. From factory they put tape weights on the outside even on expensive two piece BBS. Now this is a step that I do to make sure the wheel is on exactly. I have someone get inside and hold the brakes. I put the wheel on and at the same time I rotate the wheel on the hub and hold it flush till I get two bolts really hand tight. Then I torque the bolt at 50NM then to 100NM in steps. For the price I would insist on the Pilots XGT-H4 or Z4. The MXVs are a hit and miss. If your tire dealer would love your business and cares take this step.
Keep us posted... A smooth e39 is the only way to ride!!!!!!!
You might want to check for bent rims. I recently bent 2 around LA's rain-induced pothole jungle.
common with e39's.

Fixes:
replace rear ball joints;
dynamic balance

enjoy.
First, let me say I love the electric red on your car. I had that color in my 2003 325i. What do you mean by a dynamic balance? Is that the same thing as a road force balance?

thanks
GuapOh said:
common with e39's.

Fixes:
replace rear ball joints;
dynamic balance

enjoy.
Hey Guapoh!

How difficult is it to replace the rear ball joints? Remove the axle carrier and press out?
Anything special? :yikes:

I never heard about those going bad. Learn something new everyday. :p
I recently had the same problem with my 2000 528i. My factory contitacts were worn out, and then i got micheln MXV4 tires, and the problem automatically stopped.
There are some excellent suggestions here.. since you have replaced your tires- theres one more thing you want to look at- rotors... over heating- since you do drive the car a lil bit before the vibration- look into your rotors - over heating can definately cause this- front/ and the back... let us know what happened....
84alfaman said:
I need some advice. I've had a vibration that starts at about 40-45 miles an hour from the rear of the car. I feel it through the seat, not the steering wheel. At about 55, there is a small shake in the wheel. Also, the problem is always most noticeable when cold, and then it improves as the vehicle/tires? warm up.

I replaced the tires to BFG Traction TA's and the problem was still there. After several balances and a trip to the dealer, everyone still pointed at the tires as being the problem. So, I was able to get the tire shop to switch the BFG's for the OEM Michelin. I picked up the car today and the problem is still there!

My BMW dealer doesn't seem to know what else to do. They said my suspension checked out fine. Could they be missing something? This is getting frustrating! :mad:
Thanks for the suggestion Karri. My car is starting to vibrate again a little, i guess the tires were a temporary absence from the problem. I will certainally take your advice and ask the BMW service dealer to look in to the problem. I don't know about you but i think a German car needs everything replaced after 5 years of service. I just had a $4700 service done on the car, and once again its showing a problem again, will it ever stop???? :eek:
It will. And it must. Keep in mind- what you experience behind the wheel of a bmw is un parallel to anything ever experienced - keep the faith. :)
BMW528i_Bilal said:
Thanks for the suggestion Karri. My car is starting to vibrate again a little, i guess the tires were a temporary absence from the problem. I will certainally take your advice and ask the BMW service dealer to look in to the problem. I don't know about you but i think a German car needs everything replaced after 5 years of service. I just had a $4700 service done on the car, and once again its showing a problem again, will it ever stop???? :eek:
Hi- Not sure if I followed the thread correctly but, as these things can be difficult to track down, you need to be systematic and patient. It's worth the wait. First, try and establish if it is:

* wheels etc i.e. does it do it only when the car is moving, whether s under acceleration or just rolling etc. - but not when stationary with motor revving; or

* driveline etc. eg. does it do it when moving but perhaps only under acceleration and not while coasting along; or

* engine or transmission or driveshaft coupling - e.g. does it when stationary as well as when driving along but perhaps then only really noticeable when uder some load eg accelerating?

We've had a lot of trouble identifying a vibration in my 840 but, after getting under the car while running on a 4 post hoist, have seen to the naked eye that the vibration seems to be coming from the driveline coupling (ie where trans meets driveshaft). Will replace on 20 August to confirm.

Like your car, mine is much worse when cold, which suggests when rubber is harder, which supports the physical observation that the vibrartion is centred on the (rubber) driveline coupling. We'll see.

We've also discovered that how the exhaust is bolted up may have quite an affect (since it potentially "loads up" the engine mounts if tightened up with any tension on it.

Generally, see my posts on 6/7/8 Series forum.

Perhaps you've already fixed?? Can you please let me know?

cheers. GM840
My car is in the shop right now with driveline vibrations. Took it in because the vibration suddenly became a scrapping noise. The center drive shaft and housing were bad/broken. Got it back last Monday, and took it back on Wednesday because the vibration was still there only now between 20 and 25 mph where before it was around 30. Don't know if they replaced the rubber dampener, but they had replaced the trans mounts. Haven't heard from them about my car in 4 days now, but they are a trustworthy shop in Bloomington, Illinois. Hope to get my baby back soon, my old buick is nothing like the bimmer.
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